Rachel Bambrough, Founder of Sup4, talks about stand up paddleboarding, moving for mobility and the joy being on the water brings her, at Wellbeing by the Lakes festival

SUP (stand up paddleboarding) is an activity that has increased in popularity over the past few years, as more and more people find themselves drawn to the water and its restorative and joyful impact.

Rachel Bambrough, Founder of Sup4, joined Happiful's podcast host and SUP beginner on the stage at Wellbeing by the Lakes earlier this year, to talk about movement, mobility and why SUP is a magical pastime.

Rachel on

The magic of water and SUP

  • Every day the water changes. The sound of it changes, the look of it changes, even the smell of it changes.

  • When you're dipping your paddle in the water, you watch it glide through and when you take it out you get those tiny droplets on the top of the surface - that's what makes it magic for me.

  • All of this - seeing the motion of the board through the water, hearing the ripples, hearing the leaves rustle and watching the birds swooping down around you - it makes you feel alive.

  • It feels amazing to propel yourself along when you SUP. It's all done by you. You don't have an engine or anyone pulling you along, it's your arm strength, your core strength, your length strength.

  • SUP uses such a simple piece of equipment and everybody is capable of doing it in some form, even if you're not standing. I've seen people sitting or even lying down on the board, and that's just wonderful.

Inclusivity and mobility

  • SUP4 was originally called SUP 4 Beginners because I really wanted to bring people into the sport that had no idea how to do it, and take them from ground zero to complete confidence. I wanted them to get on board no matter what age or ability they had. More than anything, I want people to feel welcome.

  • I've coached people from age 10 all the way up to their late 70s. It's been an amazing journey so far.

  • I work with people who come to SUP4 to build on the activity they already do to make it possible for them to SUP. We take it a step at a time.

  • I've met so many people who didn't think they'd every be able to go on a paddleboard, including a lady with a serious visual impairment. She recently paddled a SUP marathon with us and now has her own board. She's an inspiration to so many people.

  • I belive everybody is different and everybody is capable of different elements of SUP.

Joy and laughter

  • Once you've left land and you're on the water, that board is like a little island of your own. You're so detached from reality when you're off dry land that you almost go into a little bubble. It's joyful.

  • Finally, it's fun! It's good to laugh at yourself when you fall off. Falling isn't failing. There's nothing wrong with falling, it's part of learning.

Listen to Rachel's episode.
Find out more at Sup4 and follow Rachel @sup4coach.

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